Knowing the Rules

We had seven E-Scows race five races this Wednesday as the south wind began very light and moved to the southwest as the sea breeze filled in.  We raced up into the cove with windward-leeward courses.  Upwind, the lifts came from the right in greatly varying winds of 5 to 8 knots.

The E’s included: Rev It Up with Doug Dearden, Thomas Fugina, J.P. Gorgue and Dave Peterson; Synergy with John Gallic, Pete Weir, Randy and Lynn Scott; Ego with Bob Blomquist, Phil Maiese, Bill Kimbell ; E-Ticket with Bill Meisseheimer, Bill Pretyka, David Gross and Dick Sherman; Xarmy with Bill Nolden, Kenny Silvestri and Chris Herdrich; Bodacious with Ted Weihe, Valdek Kwasniewski and Jerry Wheeler and E-Finity with Don Fancher, Richard Elsishans and Michele Lee.

The Scow fleets have set a goal to provide opportunities for learning and skill development. On Wednesday afternoon racing, skippers often offer the helm to other members of the crew.  For example, Lynn Scott took the helm a few weeks ago and to the cheers of all, won her first race as skipper.   Similarly, Phil Maiese won a race this Wednesday.  Other fast skippers this week were Don Fancher, Bob Blomquist, Bill Nolden and Ted Weihe.

After racing, we had a brief discussion of the rules regarding mark rounding. This is always a challenge when racing One Design boats that often reach the weather mark simultaneously, especially on short practice courses.  Richard Elsishans brought out the white board, and with the expertise from David Gross, a PRO who can cite almost all the rules, discussed two situations that occur at the windward mark. The first is when a boat on port is approaching the windward mark within the three boat circle with boat traffic approaching on starboard tack. In this case, if the port tack boat chooses to tack, to avoid a foul, the port tack boat must tack to starboard (boat to close-hauled) without causing the starboard boat to alter its’ course above close-hauled. It was noted, that this is a very dangerous position to be in and the risk/rewards of such a move needs to be assessed.

The second situation is when a boat on port is approaching a boat on a starboard tack outside the three boat circle. In this case the port/starboard rule applies. The port tack boat must complete its’ tack to starboard (Boat to close-hauled) without causing the starboard boat to alter its’ course. It should be noted that in both cases, the definition of completed a tack is the boat reaching the close-hauled tack. The position of the sail is not part of the definition.

Jim Barr, our E scow fleet captain, is recovering at home from back surgery.  He is gradually getting better but wants no visitors for now. I think he would appreciate cards.

By Ted Weihe

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